back to article Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has labelled some members of the free software community habitual, hateful and reflexive contrarians. Shuttleworth added a comment to his own Google+ post thanking those who worked on Ubuntu's recently-abandoned Unity Project. But as he read the comments on that post, his mood changed and he …

  1. Gordon Pryra
    Linux

    Weird

    Hes worked with computers for how long?

    And he still believes that online forums form some kind of community and are in some way representative of the 90% of people who never post?

    What a n00b

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Weird

      I really liked Unity but there's almost no reason to post that on a forum. On the other hand haters gonna hate. It's the most fundamental dynamic of the internet.

      1. Gordon Pryra

        Re: Weird

        Exactly, the topic on the forum is incidental to most posters. Its just a soapbox to them and one that gives them the invincibility of being anonymous.

      2. Soruk
        Go

        Re: Weird

        I decided I hated Unity after trying it. Did I post everywhere badmouthing the developers? No. I just installed MATE and got on with my life.

        That flexibility is one of the things I like about Linux. Don't like one way of something being done? There are alternatives out there (though some are easier to get going than others) to choose from.

    2. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Weird

      "...What a n00b..."

      And there's an example, in a nutshell. Albeit a fairly tame one.

      You've only got to read the el reg forums to see examples of what he talks about. It always falls into broadly the same categories:

      "Oh Micro$oft...haven't used their bloaty crap in 20 years but it's still bloaty crap"

      Or

      "Oh Linux...got a vuln...lolz"

      Or anything in between, whether it's the OS or the Applications.

      And yeah, on both sides of the court there needs to be some mental maturing taking place.

      Ok. Pass the popcorn while I count the downvotes.

      1. Gordon Pryra

        "...What a n00b..."

        "And there's an example, in a nutshell. Albeit a fairly tame one."

        Kind of the point i am making.......

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Kind of the point i am making.......

          Really? You didn't do a very good job then.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Weird

        I down voted only because I wanted to be counted anonymously.

    3. Crazy Operations Guy
      Flame

      Re: Weird

      How could he miss all the other wars?:

      vi - emacs

      BSD - Unix

      csh/ksh - bash

      C - C++

      Monolithic kernel vs micro vs hybrid

      CISC vs RISC

      fully free vs. allowing binary blobs

      And so, so many more, and that isn't even touching the perennial license wars and the eternal coding style wars (I once saw a project implode over K&R versus Allman style indents) ...

      If X-windows vs Mir is Shuttle-cock's first *Nix holy War, I'd shoot him for being a pod person that replaced the real Mark less than an hour ago. Either that, or he has had his head so firmly planted in his own ass the whole time he didn't even know there was a world around him.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Weird

        You missed out

        Sinclair Vs Commodore!

        1. BongoJoe

          Re: Weird

          Oh, yes: the Commodore 64 and or the Amiga users versus the Sinclair QL guys (I was in the latter camp) and it reminded me much of the Slade/T-Rex wars of the seventies as I really liked both bands...

          1. wayward4now
            Pirate

            Re: Weird

            Or Apple][ versus everyone else! :)

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Weird

        It's not really X-Window vs. Mir. X-Windows, although it will live on for a long time as a compatibility layer, is on the way out.

        The war was really Wayland vs.Mir, with a rearguard action trying to defend X-Windows. Several campaigns have still to be fought, but it's less complicated with Mir out of the way.

        Although it has a long and illustrious-but-tarnished history, X-Windows is not suitable for all graphics devices. Even with the extensions to direct rendering, it can be slow compared to less abstracted systems, and there have always been security concerns with it, which is a bit strange considering that it's major strength was that clients could exist on different systems than the server, as long as there was a network path between them.

        It is about time that X was retired, but it will be difficult to get something to the level of ubiquity that X-Windows achieved in the Open Systems era (remember, it was embraced by some of the non-UNIX workstation vendors like Digital), and all mainstream Linux and BSD distributions (but not Android) come with it built in. With Mir disappearing, Wayland will hopefully achieve this, but it is not certain.

  2. Marco van de Voort

    summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

    People that don't expect that should be considered anti-social.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

      There are places where that would be antisocial, but this is free software. If you do not like the direction Mr Shuttleworth is taking his project built with his time any money, use something else. In the free software world, there are always at least dozen elses. For distros, it is far to easy to find 100 elses.

      1. Marco van de Voort

        Re: summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

        Yes, in an ideal world in a crystal ball vacuum, it would be that way. Everybody would make his own distro, making his own choices, and integrate packages from all sources without ever making any demands (code modifications, support for a certain direction) upstream.

        The real world is not ideal however, and Ubuntu-the-most-dominant-distro and MIR would be a package deal, and droves of users would use it anyway, and Canonical would set the agenda and direction of MIR. And Ubuntu is too big for any package or application maintainer to not support.

        MIR would not surface because it was the best in traditional open source way, but because Canonical had pushed it no matter what. And that very real scenario (the early MIR stages happened entirely within Canonical) created the resentment. And rightly so IMHO.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

          Well Mir was interesting (as a peripheral observer), but it did not seem to solve a fundamental problem - that is the differences between requirements and resources (from screen size onwards) between a mobile device and a desktop (or even a laptop).

          I remember Microsoft trying it - twice - and no matter what you think of their ethics, they do have some talented people working for them, even if their efforts seem to be subsumed and stifled the the Borg all too often. Mi had some interesting ideas, but a working unified, coherent system it never seemed to have a hope of being.

        2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Marco van de Voort

          I did not say everyone should create their own distribution. I made a toy distribution years ago. I learned a great deal from doing so, but it was a huge time sink. I am sure there are dozens of people on the planet who would benefit from taking the time to create a distribution, but it is not a course of action I would inflict on any but the most hopelessly clueless commentard. There really are hundreds of distributions, and unless you have a really strange requirement, half a dozen of them will almost certainly be a far better choice than spending the time required to create your own.

          "Making demands from upstream". I had to wait a while before I was calm enough to respond to this without a foul mouthed screaming rant whilst brandishing an iron plated clue bat. You are not entitled to demand anything ever. You can politely offer you opinion on which way you think a project should go. You can politely tell others why you think one distro is a better choice than another. You can offer money to people capable of creating a change in your preferred direction. You can download the source code, fork it and prove to the world that your way is better (or - as I have discovered - there is often a damn good reason not to try to do it that way).

          All the people screaming and swearing and demanding the removal of systemd achieved bugger all. The Devuan maintainers sat down in their comfy chairs and got on with something constructive (They are close to getting into the top 100 on distro watch). By all means follow their example and create Vortux, or use one of the Ubuntu derivatives that does not use MIR.

          "Ubuntu is too big for any package or application maintainer to not support." Round objects. Canonical is quite capable of creating packages for any application they want. Application maintainers have enough on their plate without doing anything non-trivial to handle specific needs of any individual distribution.

          A very brief search showed that distribution makers were not particularly bothered by Canonical creating MIR. They were peeved by Canonical making statements about competitors to MIR that were not particularly true.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Marco van de Voort

            "I did not say everyone should create their own distribution. I made a toy distribution years ago. I learned a great deal from doing so, but it was a huge time sink."
            But also a great deal of fun if it's what floats your boat. When The Gitling was a teenager, we spent a lot of time playing with operating systems, mostly but not exclusively *nix. Of particular interest to me was transitioning from teacher to pupil.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

        >If you do not like the direction Mr Shuttleworth is taking his project built with his time any money, use something else.

        Most people did - that's the real issue here.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

        And yet, this is exactly what happened, people rejected his crap and choose other things, whether cinnamon on ubuntu (mint), Wayland & gnome on fedora, etc. That people did this, actually exercised that freedom you also speak of, is exactly what he is complaining about. What an antisocial ass he is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

          It's actually not what he's complaining about. You should try reading his complaint again.

      4. Carney3

        Re: summary: People resist when somebody else set the agenda without consulting them

        That's a legitimate point, but some of the resentment comes from the fact that there's a zero-sum game ni man-hours, momentum, mind-share, and credibility, and so the more forking there is, the more fewer resources there are behind any one project and thus the overall progress of the scene is harmed.

        Not only do big mainstream figures like Shuttleworth get flack for forking and diverting that, but so do groups of "nobodies" - enthusiasts, who take their ball and go home when they don't like how something's going.

  3. keithpeter
    Coat

    Money

    I gather that the decision to make between 240 and 480 people redundant was driven by the need to make Canonical attractive to (other) investors. Mr Shuttleworth has explained that, as part of that process, he decided to axe the mobile phone project. Hence, as others have explained, no need for Mir.

    All the 'community' arguments don't trump the need for cold hard cash (aka working capital). Seems to work for Red Hat.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting

    That el-reg continue to pretend Google+ is dead, except when that doesn't fit the current agenda.

    Clearly the linked community is actually rather active (as are all the Google communities i use). My Google+ post stream is also very active, with quality stuff in it from interesting people. It's actually everything that Facebook isn't (which is bizzre given the media obsession with comparison of g+ to fb)

    1. jason 7

      Re: Interesting

      90% of my customers find me via my Google+ page. Why? Cos of the 30+ 5 star reviews my business has.

      The joy is that I come up higher than the folks that paid £2+ a go for that search phrase and haven't bothered to get any reviews. Costs me nothing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: given the media obsession with comparison of g+ to fb

      Do what? There's no media obsession with Google plus at all. Can't remember the last time i heard it mentioned except in threads on here. It's a niche service that Google will probably eol in a year or two when they realise it doesn't provide enough advertising revenue...

    3. streaky Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      Clearly the linked community is actually rather active

      Slightly propagandist take on the issue no? People use google+ because their platform forces people to when engaging with google sites, but they're minimally engaging with google+ itself. Which is perfectly fine but not at all what google intended for the platform.

      It'd be like twitter not really being used and just providing identity services for all twitter's other sites (this is not a thing but I'm saying on comparable terms if they did own more properties). Like I said it's fine and does work for google but that doesn't really make google+ a "thing".

      I can't see them ever killing it per se because it's how they unify their services together but lets be reasonable about it..

  5. jake Silver badge

    What does he expect?

    Does the Space Cadet want everybody to kowtow to him or something?

    Fuck that shit.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Re: What does he expect?

      Thanks, jake, for showing us all that this is a rather nuanced issue---by completely failing to notice it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's right

    Hell, I remember my first foray into Linux some 17 years ago now, and posting on newsgroups.

    I'd never posted anywhere where having a superiority complex was the norm. I still remember one conversation to this day along the lines of somebody telling me they knew the answer, and I didn't, ho-de-ho. No sh1t Sherlock, that's why I'm posting here.

    Sadly, often one of the side effects of high intelligence is a lack of empathy and/or social skills. It's something one often has to work at when in such a position, balancing the fact you can think on levels beyond most people, but whilst also acknowledging basic human needs to have friends, partners etc. These generally aren't found by lording your brain power over people.

    Of course, some people are just pr1cks. There's no helping them.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Does the other way round fit?

      How about a thicko with an big inferiority complex saying "I know, but I won't tell you" when he hasn't got a clue and is trying to hide it. Just tell the emperor he has no clothes and enjoy the spectacular tantrum as he screams "of course I have clothes, but you are too stupid to see them".

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's right

      And yet you've probably never thought twice about people lording their financial capital over people.

      Capitalism is that arbitrary. It's as nonsensical as arranging people by their accumulation of obscure knowledge, yet people readily forgive those pricks.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: He's right

        people lording their financial capital over people

        Somehow, I feel that if Shuttleworth's aim had been to demonstrate his financial superiority, investing in an obscure graphical shell for an operating system used by a tiny minority of computer users was not his best strategy.

        1. Marco van de Voort

          Re: He's right

          Well, it was primarily for the benefits of his mobile ambitions. And Linux derivatives are the most dominant mobile platform.

        2. boltar Silver badge

          Re: He's right

          "Somehow, I feel that if Shuttleworth's aim had been to demonstrate his financial superiority, investing in an obscure graphical shell for an operating system used by a tiny minority of computer users was not his best strategy."

          Depends. If you want investor money you need to differentiate yourself from the crowd. No one is going to invest serious money in yet another distro with a gnome shell. But a brand new front end and API that can ultimately have applicaiton lock in (or at least reduced functionality for programs that don't use their API), well, thats another story. Kerching! Or maybe not. But I suspect that was part of his thinking.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: He's right

            "If you want investor money you need to differentiate yourself from the crowd. No one is going to invest serious money in yet another distro with a gnome shell. But a brand new front end and API that can ultimately have applicaiton lock in (or at least reduced functionality for programs that don't use their API), well, thats another story. Kerching! Or maybe not. But I suspect that was part of his thinking."

            He sold Thawte for the US equivalent of over 575 MILLION DOLLARS, before forming Canonical.

            You reckon he formed Canonical in 2004 with a view to picking up some investor money, in 2017, after he's stepped down as CEO, so he could make himself rich ...?

            You're bonkers.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. DrXym Silver badge

      Re: He's right

      Linux definitely has some users who react to criticism as if they're under personal attack. It's a siege mentality. I think the community over all has grown and matured because Linux use is widespread and commercial.

    5. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: He's right

      I'll agree. I read much more than I post ( which is probably way too much, I accept). And an awful lot of what I read is irrational opposition, with no shades of grey either.

      That being said, the statement "Sadly, often one of the side effects of high intelligence is a lack of empathy and/or social skills..." I can't accept.

      There is no evidence that the commentators have higher intelligence than the normal distribution, within, perhaps, the more educated band. Nor that those who do have higher intelligence vary more than average across the empathy EI scale. Though, in IT forums there would predictably be a higher proportion of commentators on the autistic/Aspergers scale, since there would be both a lower proportion of people in the "caring" fields, because they aren't attracted to IT as much, and a higher proportion of those in mechanical/technical fields because, obviously this is what interests them.

      FWIW My work has always involved intense use of people skills, empathy etc. but built on a solid base of technical knowledge about literacy development. I spend a lot of my time in forums arguing with Behaviourists who fondly believe that all you need to learn to read is to learn all the endless and often inadequate rules for decoding. ( and that all you need to teach literacy or solve learning problems is to buy a good/better phonics scheme)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's right

      How nice of you to be kind to the little people. </Sarcasm>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He's right

        "How nice of you to be kind to the little people. </Sarcasm>""

        LOL. The point I'm making, is that it's possible to be smart without looking down at other people or belittling their lack of similar skills to your own. Most people have something they're good at, whether that's a tangible skill, or a personality trait like being a great listener for their friends. I found that within the Linux community in particular, there seemed to be a need by many to feel superior and laugh at other's questions, rather than gain their satisfaction from helping people.

        Don't get me wrong, I've seen it on other forums too. But usually to a lesser extent; and those that behave in such a way are usually ignored or marginalised.

        1. PaulFrederick

          Re: He's right

          You sound like you need to read ESR's How To Ask Questions the Smart Way.

    7. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: He's right

      Nerds and geeks over here have a reputation for at best being anti-social. The caricature is based on a grain of truth as many do not have great social skills, being more interested in technology than people.

      1. Orv Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: He's right

        "Nerds and geeks over here have a reputation for at best being anti-social."

        Well, consider that during the years when most people are forming their social skills, nerds and geeks are being shunned when they're not being assaulted by football players. You can't help but come out of that socially awkward. Some emerge with an empathy for other misfits, while others decide it's their turn and use whatever power they have to bully others. We call the latter category "4chan users."

        1. wayward4now
          Big Brother

          Re: He's right

          "Well, consider that during the years when most people are forming their social skills, nerds and geeks are being shunned when they're not being assaulted by football players. You can't help but come out of that socially awkward."

          I suspect one thing all the shooters in shopping malls seem to have in common, ...none of them could get a date to the prom.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: He's right

            "I suspect one thing all the shooters in shopping malls seem to have in common, ...none of them could get a date to the prom."
            Shirley what they all have in common is a gun...

      2. PaulFrederick

        Re: He's right

        Let me see if I got what you're saying right, we're supposed to be interested in people? Why am I just hearing about this now? I'm going back to organizing my salvaged electronics components. I see a point to doing that.

    8. GrumpenKraut Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: He's right

      Allow me to disagree with that one:

      > one of the side effects of high intelligence is a lack of empathy and/or social skills.

      I much more often find that what could be perceived as lack of empathy / social skills is just a bonehead who is not as clever as he (usually a he) thinks, trying to show off to boost his self esteem. In other words, just a random type of arsehole.

      Much fun can be had when one finds an error in their arguments... ------>

  7. oldtaku

    Yes, that's true... but it's a strawman.

    Unity is still a worthless piece of crippled crap that nobody ever wanted but Canonical.

    Open Source people are hostile, Unity is terrible. Both of those things can be and are true. Open Source hostility, as embodied by Linus, does not excuse your terrible GUI.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      "Unity is terrible"
      Several years ago I had an HP netbook for travel that came with w7 (the really basic version). It was as unstable as buggery and putting the "real" w7 on it didn't help. Every hour or so it would need the battery to be pulled out to restart.

      So I put Ubuntu with Unity on it. It was almost perfectly stable and I used it with considerable enjoyment for almost two years. YMMV...

    2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      @oldtaku Unity is still a worthless piece of crippled crap that nobody ever wanted but Canonical

      QED.

      I've used Unity professionally on a number of projects. It's not my favourite desktop environment, but it has good points as well as bad. So do all the alternatives, including Windows and OSX.

      The belief that expressing polar likes and dislikes in intemperate terms is a way to prove their validity is one that most people grow out of by adolescence.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Revisionist history

    People hated windows because it sucked (crashed, or allowed badly written drivers to crash it), and because it was part of a totalist monopoly ecosystem, eliminating all choice.

    By windows 7 the quality and security were up, and the monopoly aspect had softened greatly, leaving not much to hate.

    Windows 8 (and GNOME 3) was part of a drug influenced era of OS design giving fresh new reasons to hate, and windows 10 restored some usability while switching to a surveillance business model.

    Hipsterism had nothing to do with hating windows.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: Revisionist history

      "Hipsterism had nothing to do with hating windows."
      Some have said that Berkley in the 60s gave us Unix and LSD. That it was both was no coincidence.

      1. EveryTime Silver badge

        Re: Revisionist history

        "Some have said that Berkley in the 60s gave us Unix and LSD. That it was both was no coincidence."

        That statement is incorrect.

        Unix derived from Multics. Multics was largely developed at MIT in the 1960s and 1970s, influenced by other universities and computer companies in Massachusetts and nearby. Unix was a bad clone developed at Bell Labs in New Jersey when they couldn't afford a 'real' computer. It was influenced by the usual 'effete northeast liberal universities' (TM).

        Berkley's contribution was initially putting together a distribution, gathering programs, tools and subsystems written by others. This occurred long after the 1960's. It wasn't until the 1980s that Berkeley was making substantial design contributions.

        1. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: Revisionist history

          "That statement is incorrect."
          My statement was: "Some have said that Berkley in the 60s gave us Unix and LSD. That it was both was no coincidence."

          The original statement was:

          "There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence."
          I believe my paraphrase captures the essence. The original statement is attributed to Jeremy S. Anderson, UNIX systems administrator, and promulgated by Steven Aukstakalnis.

          [Aside] Isn't it a bugger when you have to explain a joke? [/Aside]

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Revisionist history

          Unix was not derived from Multics in any way at all.<p>

          The name Unix was simply a piss-take of the name Multics, as it was tiny (in terms of LOC) compared to Multics. Other than the fact that both are operating systems, there is very little else in common between them that was not also common to all OSes at the time. And what was shared was mostly because ideas that worked were reused.<p>

          I speak as a former Multics user and early Unix user (still using *BSD). <p>

          The quote was "Berkeley gave us BSD and LSD..."<p>

          Also a former LSD user.

          1. PaulFrederick

            Re: Revisionist history

            Yeah but let's give credit where it is due. Dr. Albert Hoffman developed LSD in Basil Switzerland. I think the only thing Berkley ever gave us was spoiled children.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: Revisionist history

              "I think the only thing Berkley ever gave us was spoiled children."
              Frankly I'd give my eye teeth to have been lectured by Dick Feynman.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: Revisionist history

                Feynman was at Caltech.

                However, he did speak at both Stanford and Berkeley occasionally. I saw him a couple of times at both schools. One of the talks was his take on Cargo Cult Science, or maybe it was two of them a year or so apart. It was forty years ago, and he was a guest speaker, I'm surprised I remember that much ... my major(s) occupied most of my thought processes at the time.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: Revisionist history

                  "Feynman was at Caltech.

                  However, he did speak at both Stanford and Berkeley occasionally. "

                  A good friend was a post-grad at Berkeley so I imagine you were in the same lecture theatre. Yes, it was a long time ago...

    2. twenex

      Re: Revisionist history

      Exactly. The cool Windows-haters (in the sense of the ones that society at large thinks are cool) use Macs. The nerdy Windows-haters use desktop Linux (though even that is changing), whereas it used to be that Linux users were uncool nerds even in server rooms. That being said, there are plenty valid reasons to "hate," and even simply not to use, Windows - like, the Star-Trek: The Original Series film strategy of every other release being a pile of crap.

  9. wolfetone Silver badge

    Herpes is also free, but I don't like it.

  10. MacroRodent Silver badge

    So what else is new?

    Noisy flamefests and trolls have always been part of the scene, unfortunately. Online, it takes just a couple of obsessed people to make a forum appear hateful. I'm surprised Shuttleworth was shocked by this. Mark: just ignore the noisemakers.

  11. murakh
    Linux

    Always certain of a deeper purpose

    This sounds too much like a nice way to justify leaving open source / free.

    Anyone else suspect a "new improved" Canonical very soon with closed source parts and perhaps paid software?

    1. keithpeter
      Coat

      Re: Always certain of a deeper purpose

      "Anyone else suspect a "new improved" Canonical very soon with closed source parts and perhaps paid software?"

      You can already buy support from Canonical for servers, and, I believe, the administration of large numbers of desktop systems. They make administration systems for large virtualised deployments.

      Canonical may 'do a Red Hat' in the future and continue to provide source code under the GPL and charge a subscription for the binary distro and for the other tools. Might be tricky as Ubuntu is built on top of Debian unstable (at least I believe that the Debian Unstable packages are exported and used as a basis for the next Ubuntu release after much bug fixing and patching).

      I'm not so sure about closed source/proprietary software but we shall see.

    2. BitDr

      Re: Always certain of a deeper purpose

      Yes. Especially since I hear that he is seeking investment funds.

  12. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

    Unfortunate confusion

    Damn our archaic language!

    Ok not really, I love English but having such confusion over the meaning of the word Free does not really help.

    Reading his comments seem to suggest he is confusing the issue of what the Free Software community is. If I'm not making an incorrect assumption myself I see he appears to be angry with what he see as a Freeware sharing community that seem for some reason to be very determined to make certain points that seem to be political/social. Well he would be angry with such a community if it was a bunch of rude anti-social Freeware sharers, I would.

    The thing is that this community is not a bunch of rude Freeware sharers but a bunch of Free Software users and developers who are politically and socially motivated about the issue of freedom when using computers. Free means "free as in freedom" in this case.

    He goes on to say that they hated Windows because it was mainstream. I'm sure many do, I have done so with other products (I sometimes felt the urge that I needed to be different, to stand out) but many do not, yet they still hate windows. Why? Because it isn't Free Software.

    It's a political/social issue. I don't care if you sell me Free Software. I have purchased Free Software and I will sell my Free Software should I actually find time to write any worth selling.

    It looks to me that Shuttleworth is in the Open Source community, looking out at the Free Software community thinking that he is part of said community simply because he does not charge money for what he coded, then gets confused and angry as that community seems to be so unwilling to compromise on issues that seem to be invented to allow arguments.

    Well that's what happens with politics or social change. It can have arguments between groups just like with Republicans V Democrats (US), Liberal Democrats v Labour V Conservatives V The Monster Raving Loony Party (UK).

    Open Source does produce Free Software and it produces non-Free Software. The Open Source community have managed to avoid all the politics and social issues by ignoring them. They don't necessarily know or care of the issues. So when they see the politics come out some may attribute it to being anti-social.

    http://www.fsf.org/about

  13. stephanh Silver badge

    Good riddance

    To be completely frank: while I sympathize with the people who lost their job, it is a good thing we get rid of Unity and Mir (especially Mir). The second-to-last thing Linux needs is yet another desktop environment, and the very last thing it needs is yet another display server.

    The technical rationale why Ubuntu couldn't just use Wayland like everybody else always seemed pretty thin.

  14. DrXym Silver badge

    True to some extent but in this case?

    I don't think Mir-the-code received hate. Mir-the-why-is-it-even-a-thing certainly did.

    1) Canonical produced Mir (and Unity) to power lightweight desktops on phones and tablets. They wanted this cake to themselves so contributors had to agree to granting Canonical commercial use but nobody else. Others could use the code subject to the GPL3 (toxic) or paying Canonical $$$ for a commercial licence. Big players like Intel decided to dump Mir because of this.

    2) In addition Mir didn't need to exist. Wayland was already at an advanced stage of development when Mir turned up. Wayland does most of what Mir did but under an MIT icence so it was generally a drop-in replacement for X. Canonical's justifications for inventing Mir were highly contrived claiming Wayland wouldn't handle input events from future advanced input devices like 3D controllers. This was seen as highly divisive without good reason.

    3) Other projects like QT, GTK, Cairo etc didn't really appreciate the effort of maintaining backends for Mir and threw it back on Canonical to do the work.

    4) Canonical's ambitions in the mobile space haven't paid off so the effort of maintaining Mir, Unity + various backends has clearly become a burden. So they've dumped this technology.

    I realise this is disappointing for Canonical and Shuttleworth but characterizing it as "anti-social" or whatever misses the point. Mir didn't need to exist and only did so to prop up Canonical's commercial ambitions. It served little purpose outside of that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: True to some extent but in this case?

      "Mir didn't need to exist and only did so to prop up Canonical's commercial ambitions."

      I was pretty sad when the Ubuntu Edge phone was canned and ultimately, I believe that was the make or break point for Mir. The problem (in my opinion) was that the phone had a price designed to compete with the high end phones, and all it had to do was be "mid-range" to build some support and an eco system.

      Let me clarify: I don't use Ubuntu, and have never had it installed on a PC I own for more than a handful of days before switching to something else, but Unity (and Mir) on a phone had me intrigued, and I'd almost certainly have spent £200 on a phone which ran "real" linux, even though I'd basically have been a Beta Tester and paying for the privilege. However, if I recall correctly, the price was roughly twice that, and it was just too steep, so I ignored the crowdfunding. Maybe, just maybe, that was why other people didn't back it either?

      For the desktop, however, I'm afraid I can't be sad at the passing of Mir because it's unlikely that I'd ever have used it. I may, at some point, start using Wayland though.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: True to some extent but in this case?

        The Edge phone looked like it was going to be an interesting thing, but you could get much of the experience for much less than £200.

        I picked up a second user Nexus 4 (one of the reference platforms for the Ubuntu phone distro) for £50, and spent about an hour putting Ubuntu Touch on it.

        It's my backup phone, and I actually quite like it. I don't like Unity on a laptop, but it really works on a single-task-at-a-time touch screen device. My one gripe is that there is no real apps for it, although I did nothing myself to add anything to the ecosystem, so I guess that I can't really complain. If it had gained enough momentum, I reckon it it could have been a contender, but the chances of that were always slim.

        I guess that I'll have to look for another quirky backup phone at some point (my previous backup was a Palm Treo, which I kept running long past it useful life because I liked it so much). Anybody any suggestions?

  15. FlippingGerman

    Well,he's right, but while I don't argue about the ins and outs of various picture-drawing software, those complaining may well have been correct. It's good that they at least try new things, and tried to do mobile as well before giving up on it the other day, although no one seemed to want any of this.

  16. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Normally abnormal.

    > some members of the free software community habitual, hateful and reflexive contrarians

    The same can be said about any online forum. So it's good to see that the IT people are no different. Maybe we are "normal" after all?

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: Normally abnormal.

      Certainly. For a given value of normal ;-)

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Normally abnormal.

        NfN?

    2. DropBear Silver badge

      Re: Normally abnormal.

      Exactly. Whether or not "habitual, hateful and reflexive" is justified in this particular case, if he thinks any of that is specific to "the free software community", he's madder than a hatter.

  17. tiggity Silver badge

    Arguments

    quote: "It became a political topic as irrational as climate change or gun control, where being on one side or the other was a sign of tribal allegiance"

    I think he's misinterpreting those 2 arguments.

    1. Climate change

    No tribal allegiance with climate change (people who think that there's a good chance the huge majority of climate research experts are correct on this vs. those that dislike / fail to understand science, ).

    Unless you regard the 2 tribes as scientifically literate vs science haters.

    2. Gun control.

    Depends on your perspective, in a global context its pretty much most countries think gun control is a good thing, a few countries disagree (US being one)

    Within the US, 100000 school massacres a year would not sway the hard core pro zero gun control zealots, whereas those who say maybe it's not a great idea that people with quite bad mental health issues have easy access to weapons with big magazine capacity and fast firing capability (i.e massacre friendly) are not so much a tribe as people saying WTF, just how ludicrous can the gun ownership "regulations" get.

    On 1 and 2, most people have an opinion, as both have (potentially, to some degree) life threatening implications.

    On Mir, a fairly miniscule number of the population have a strong opinion. most folks have zeroi clue about Mir or go meh

    He would have been better choosing an emacs / vi argument (or similar.) instead.

    1. wolfetone Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Arguments

      "No tribal allegiance with climate change (people who think that there's a good chance the huge majority of climate research experts are correct on this vs. those that dislike / fail to understand science, )."

      Don't sit on the fence. Tell us how you really feel.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Arguments

      "It became a political topic as irrational as climate change or gun control..."

      Nope, the topics are neither rational nor irrational. They are just - topics.

      Now, some of the people debating those (or indeed any other given topics) ...

      ... and while I'm at it: Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam!

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Arguments

        "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam!"
        You've been channelling Cato the Elder. I can tell...

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Arguments

        "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam!"

        I'm pretty certain I took care of that several centuries ago ...

    3. mrwislr

      Re: Arguments

      Do you believe one can be born into the wrong body? No science behind that. Do you realize the school shooting always occur at the 'no carry' gun free zone schools? Bet you didn't... btw, mentally handicapped people haven't been able to purchase weapons legally for decades... and criminals aren't going to follow the law, just as the UK. Any idea why switzerland is the safest country in the world? They have more guns per person than the US and their government funds it... probably has something to do with criminals knowing everyone is packing.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Arguments

        Tired old theme.And total nonsense to boot. Swiss guns are for the militia in the way that US guns under that famous " amendment" were meant to be. And they are tightly controlled. Very tightly controlled.

        Quote from BBC website;

        "..But over the last 20 years, now that the majority of soldiers don't have ammunition at home, we have seen a decrease in gun violence and a dramatic decrease in gun-related suicides. Today we see maybe 200 gun suicides per year and it used to be 400, 20 years ago. "

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He has a really good point

    I actually don't post source for a lot of my stuff just because I hate the idea of helping out some of the utter fucking retarded evil dumb-ass wanker bastards I've met in the same circles as me.

    Despite this he's doing Ubuntu, which yeah... I kinda hate for 11.04 and haven't stopped using Mint MATE but you know what I mean.

    He has a point, and I have a lot of respect for him pushing ahead anyway.

    On a side note, the modern Linux (and many unixes for that matter) depend on a lot of old crap that are not defined particularly well (you know when they're called "reference implementations"), I'd love to fix these.

    Ancient bugs are everywhere, they SHOULDN'T be there and a big problem is with "volunteer" stuff, with the best will in the world, programmers don't do the not fun stuff and do the fun stuff.

    Like gobject. That shouldn't be as... big as it is and used everywhere. It was only compiled by GCC for the longest time, so use g++!

    There are large parts of half-assed programs that just crash or have chunks missing for the less common paths, there's documentation missing so things can't be replaced, like I know what gstreamer claims to do, that's it!

    I have no idea how sound or graphics really work on a Linux system and I'd love to find out!

    Don't get me wrong, some stuff is great! But remember Bash's environmental variable bug thing, how the fuck did that even happen? Compilers/interpreters and parsing was basically "solved" by the 70s.

    I think a touch of C++ would help. Not like going totally overboard like they seem to be going (however how we as a species went 30 years without move constructors I'll never know) would be good.

    Let your destructors deallocate, use your virtuals nice and easily... That'd make the world of difference

    Probably help performance too!

    Lastly, I think these projects need leaders, really. I'd love it if the FSF provided some direction, I've experience where this would have helped with a few people just drifting on with a project but I don't want to identify myself (beyond what I've said already)

    AC

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boo Hoo Mr Shufflecock

    Moan about community and reflexive contrarian, but a lot of friction and strife was seeded by Canoicals inability to play well with communities.

    He committed to Wayland, whilst secretly developing Mir, keeping outside contributors in the dark, wasting their time and effort towards Ubuntu (but not Wayland).

    Then spreads FUD about deficiencies in both Xorg AND Wayland as reasons for the move, which were fully debunked.

    And then restricts ability for people to contribute by forcing a licensing agreement (that prevented me being able to contribute as a contradicted by terms of employment, which a pure FOSS license would not of).

    Spreading FUD about Gnome contributions - it is well known their patches and tweaks only work within the restricted Ubuntu environment, there were frequent defects outside Ubuntu (sometimes due to incompatible design and sometimes due to poor code quality), not contributing to ANY collaborative design effort (they did their own design effort behind closed doors and then wonder why it was completely ignored).

    There is probably shed loads more example, but I gotta go take a dump.

  20. Oh Homer Silver badge

    "IOS/Android had no competition"?

    Spot the obvious oxymoron.

  21. Oh Homer Silver badge

    "Hate on Free Software"

    I advocate Free Software in principle, and indeed academic freedom in general, but the fact of something being free (in either sense) does not somehow make it immune to criticism, in fact any kind of progress absolutely requires it.

  22. Florida1920 Silver badge
    Alert

    News flash

    Mark Shuttleworth had a bad day. In other news, some people hate [name of OS].

  23. GBE

    "Hate" is a transitive verb, Mark.

    Inserting the preposition "on" between "hate" and the direct object just makes you sound like a poser dork who's trying to sound "street".

    1. dbtx Bronze badge
      Trollface

      Re: "Hate" is a transitive verb, Mark.

      Don't be hatin' on Mark-- he just anotha brotha tryin' ta collect his chips

  24. herman Silver badge

    Well, there are billions of useless assholes on the planet. It is much easier to complain than to do something useful and those idiots deserve to be ignored.

    So, if you happen to read this: Thanks Mark!!!

  25. YARR
    Joke

    They shouldn't have called it Mir... it was going to end in flames.

  26. Colin Tree

    Mars

    Mark,

    Some rich, influential people think their shit don't stink. Sorry to say, it stinks more.

    People get rich at many others expense, that wealth didn't grow on trees, other people worked hard for your wealth.

    You might think you're a god because you've looked down on this earth, sorry again, you're not.

    Lots of things tacked onto Linux have failed because they have pulled in a different direction. Some hope to have the momentum to drag everyone in their wake and then suck more money out of them.

    I was dumbfounded when I downloaded a Ubuntu image the other day.

    You dicks wanted money upfront.

    I hope you go to Mars for your next trip, so we can see the back of you.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why the fuss about an ex Sovjet space station?

    I work in IT and literally never heard of "mir" outside of the Sovjet/Russian space station context. I don't think I need to know either.

  28. cageordie

    But it was crap

    So people didn't like his Fisher Price interface? Well that was predictable. I think the most popular task completed in Unity was replacing Unity. All he's proving is that he's as arrogant as his decision to force Unity on people suggested.

    1. dbtx Bronze badge
      Meh

      Re: But it was crap

      Wait, what? Replacing Unity was a nice side effect of only ever downloading Kubuntu (KDE 3.x only!) or Xubuntu (or maybe lubuntu, forget) ITFP. So I never had to touch it or think about it. I suppose if I ran Ubuntu near the beginning so that apt-get dist-upgrade (or equivalent) would have shoved it in, then I would probably have been a bit unhappy and got on with that replacing. Yeah, I know that means I never tried it so I can't say a damn thing about whether it's worthy, but I have a principle for that: if there's something really simple and therefore really good, then changes made while attempting to significantly improve it are bound to ruin it.

  29. ChrisBedford

    Given that most software folk are deeply nerdy, how is this news?

    As Gordon Pryra says, probably 90% of a "community" is the silent people. But it's the same in real-world politics, isn't it: it's the voiciferous minority who drive all the rhetoric.

  30. mrwislr

    Mir was about control, not community, don't kid yourself Mark you're not that noble. Also strange that he talked about 'taking sides' and 'tribal mentality' then reveals his own tribe which is opposite of the 'tea party'. Profiling much Mark?

  31. twenex

    Whilst I welcomed the abandonment of Unity (and despite the adoption of GNOME, although it's almost as bad, it does have going for it not only that it reasonably standard in the community, but also that all the other enterprise desktops appear to have gelled around it), this latest makes me worry that it's a bad decision and a sign that Shuttleworth had lost the plot. It was obvious that Mir was never going to fly; why? because people are sick of the Unix non-standards wars and don't want them coming back again.

  32. deconstructionist

    Love it , nice to see the pingu's getting their jimmies rattled, but come on they are just following big daddy Linus's lead. I mean he is such the social charmer, but at least the tells them to their faces he thinks they are pond scum.

  33. KR Caddis

    Optional Title

    Who cares what he thinks?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shuttleworth may be an ass in this instance, but he's not wrong.

    If you get more than one option (and with OSS you always do, in the end) there is always a vocal group that keeps repeating their arguments why the "bad" option is nefarious, evil, bad, and retarded - especially if there are differences between the licenses. Eventually the half-truths about the opponent become "common wisdom" that you can always count on someone to bring up.

    Many open source projects lose steam or fall apart when the bad eventually drowns out the good - a bazaar of the bizarre. I guess that's how you end up with GNOME as the default option for Linux.

    1. twenex

      This isn't a problem with open source software; it's a problem with software in general. Even on Windows there are a multitude of competing packages doing the same job, with their detractors and proponents. WordStar is long dead, (even if George RR Martin is still using it), and WordPerfect hangs on. Just last month, I heard one person at a LUG say that Word became the standard whilst WordPerfect was still a better program, and read someone else saying almost the exact opposite. And there are many other examples I could choose, many of them proprietary.

  35. Oh Homer Silver badge
    Headmaster

    No work is ever "bad"

    The point is simply to do the work, listen to the criticism, and constantly improve the result.

    Sadly that all falls apart when you stop listening to the criticism, throw your toys out of the pram, and whine about "haters".

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Agreeing With Him

    Agreeing with him, maybe not 100% but no less than 85%. A large number of guys there have problems with their mentality and attitude. Though being a jerk is very common throughout the web but a large number of Internet users are poorly educated which most of these Linux forum members are not. Some of them should understand that a piece of program is just a tool, not a religion.

  37. fredesmite

    Canional produces the biggest peice of dog-shitte

    They essentially steal open source and repackage it . they do little development .. all issues are pushed upstream . I worked with Canonical on a product with ffreescale and it was horrible results . I will never again touch such a turd

    They have yet to make a cent in profit

    #Fedora

  38. PaulFrederick

    Maybe if Ubuntu didn't suck so hard

    people wouldn't hate on Ubuntu so much. If Ubuntu was any good I'd run it. But it isn't, so I don't. I mean it is not the price that is keeping me away. It is that there are better choices available. Just about any distro is better in fact.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    typical

    if there is disagreement, it is "hate" and if it disagrees with ME it must be "irrational!"

    Another page from the Trump Playbook, tho to be fair Trump has invented nothing on his own, but is given/taken credit for. Even such defensiveness tactics as the above.

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